Mexican Independence Day celebrations in 2017. / SUR

16 September 1810: Mexico gains independence from Spain

On the eve of the day, the country's president rings a bell and the ceremony concludes with 'Viva Mexico' shouted three times

JENNIE RHODES

On 16 September, Mexicans around the globe celebrate the anniversary of the country's independence from Spain.

The day is marked by a national holiday in Mexico, a reenactment of the moment the revolution's leader cried out for independence, fireworks, dancing and parades.

Mexico's independence day celebrates the moment in 1810 when Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest known as Father Hidalgo, made the first cry for independence on 16 September in a speech he gave in the Mexican town of Dolores.

From 16 September 1810 to 27 September 1821 an armed conflict and political process ensued resulting in Mexico's independence from Spain.

The fight for independence began in 1810 when American-born Spaniards in favour of independence began plotting an uprising against Spanish rule.

The Hidalgo revolt began an armed insurgency lasting until 1821. The colonial regime did not expect the size and duration of the insurgency, which spread from the Bajío region north of Mexico City to the Pacific and Gulf Coasts.

On 27 September 1821, the Army of the Three Guarantees, led by Agustín de Iturbide, entered Mexico City and the following day Iturbide proclaimed independence of the Mexican Empire, as New Spain was to be called.

The three guarantees which the army was meant to defend were religion, independence and unity.

Every year on the eve of Mexican Independence Day, at around 11pm local time, the country's president stands on the balcony of the National Palace and rings a bell, as Hidalgo did in 1810.

The president recites El Grito de Independencia (the cry of independence), a speech based on Hidalgo's proclamation that also lists the names of heroes in the Mexican War of Independence.

The ceremony concludes with 'Viva México!' shouted three times.